Dear Neil: In the last two years, I have been on exactly two dates. It isn’t from lack of trying. I’ve tried the bar scene, personal ads, dating services of all types, and I have encouraged friends to fix me up, but to no avail. I’ve tried aerobics classes, cooking classes, night school, and other such places, but all I ever find are attached women.
My experience has convinced me that there are no single, dateable women in this world. All the women are either married, engaged or currently seeing someone on a regular basis.
Could you address the question of how to find someone to be intimate with?
Searching in rural Wisconsin
Dear Searching: It does sound like you’ve had a hard time of it recently.
The desperate feeling some people encounter while dating—about being alone and yearning to meet someone so they won’t feel so lonely—is a complete dead-end street. So is spending virtually all your time figuring out where to go to meet new people. Such activities use up your time, energy and spirit, and all too frequently bring do not bring you closer to your goal of finding that special someone.
There is no best place to go to meet other people. People are everywhere. Thus, you have to figure out what places are the most appropriate or interesting for you. You accomplish that goal by deciding what you are interested in doing or trying, and then by finding groups, organizations, classes, workshops, committees or clubs that in fact do the activities that you’re interested in.
Other options for meeting people include dating services, personal ads (they do work for some people), adult education classes, dances, dance classes, church singles groups, Parents Without Partners socials, and a variety of different sports and special interest organizations.
Another idea is to join a professional/work related association and to actively participate in it. Volunteer to help out, head a committee, or to otherwise take on a leadership position. The visibility will help you get to know others, and will also help them to get to know you.
Still another possibility is to find one thing you do really well, and teach an adult education class on the subject, or offer a workshop on it, essentially volunteering to teach it to other people.
You could also volunteer on no matter how awkward you feel, and create and opportunity for the two of you to get to know each other better. Look, dress and smell well, incidentally. Nothing else will turn a woman off more quickly if you don’t pay attention to your appearance and hygiene.
Your fears are likely to be constantly triggered, and your courage will be tested over and over again. But don’t give up. Several things you’ve tried are great ideas, and very well may work if you keep at them. Keep trying.